Dag & Red win was a game Hartlepool Utd would have lost last season

Andy Monkhouse scores the winning goal against Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID
Andy Monkhouse scores the winning goal against Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID

MATCHWINNER Andy Monkhouse believes the win over Dagenham & Redbridge is a game Hartlepool United would probably have lost in previous seasons.

But the versatile winger says there is a new confidence amongst the Pools players this term as they recorded their fifth league win in six matches.

Pools beat the Daggers 2-1 thanks to a first-half James Poole goal and a second-half header from Monkhouse, who nodded home a deep Matty Dolan corner.

It was the third straight win at Victoria Park, after previous victories over Plymouth Argyle and AFC Wimbledon.

Pools once again had to dig deep for victory after Zavon Hines had earlier equalised for the visitors with a wonderstrike.

But a last-ditch block from captain Neil Austin prevented the visitors taking the lead and then Monkhouse popped up to head the winning goal in the 79th minute and send the players and fans into raptures.

Pools had struggled at home in the opening stages of this season, and over the course of the last couple of seasons, and lost many matches in a similar position when the scores were level.

But Monkhouse said there is a new confidence amongst his team mates.

When asked if Saturday’s game was one Pools would have lost earlier in the season, the 33-year-old said: “Maybe so, maybe the last couple of years.

“When you get pegged back

l TURN to SportMail Page 8

1-1, Aussie’s (Neil Austin) tackle which could have been 2-1, Scott [Flinders] has made a few good saves and people may then think we would settle for a draw.

“But there is maybe something different in the camp this year and we feel like we will always get another chance.

“We have good players in this team and we always think we will get a chance at the end and luckily we did that on Saturday.”

It was Monkhouse’s third goal of the season and his 64th career goal and it helped ensure Pools’ third consecutive victory on home soil.

Monkhouse, who praised his team-mates “battling qualities”, added: “Everybody when they come to watch the lads play want us to win.

“When you are losing games it is a different place really.

“But we are not going to get too carried away.

“We have had a good little run but we have to keep doing what we are doing, work hard in training and see where it takes us.”

Victory saw Pools climb one spot to 13th in a very tight Sky Bet League Two with 21 points from the opening 15 matches.

It means Cooper’s side are now just three points off the play-off spots and five off the top three automatic positions.

But Monkhouse is under no illusions how difficult the league campaign is and has called on his colleagues to continue to show the right attitude.

The winger added: “No team in this league is going to roll over and die.

“You have to put the endeavour, hard work and commitment in every week.

“If you ask their players and gaffer at 1-1 they probably think they are the only team that is going to win it.

“It is a difficult league, with hard matches week in, week out, whether you are home or away.

“There are different ways to win a game, we all want to come here and pass the ball about and score unbelievable goals but it doesn’t always happen.

“You have to work hard and do your jobs individually and as a team, and then you come out on top.”